Fashion Week Istanbul, has proven its place in the global lens since 2013 and has gained an important place all over the world with its wider global awareness. Combining the polyphonic structure of Istanbul with fashion, it has become a synthesis of east and west not only with seasonless collections but also with nonbinary future.
“Going digital and gender-neutral” is a new phrase we come across frequently nowadays. As the fashion industry moves towards a more sustainable and responsible future, Turkish designers such as Y Plus by Yakup Biçer, New Gen, Karma, Gökay Gündoğdu, Hakaan Yıldırım, Hatice Gökçe, Murat Aytulum and Özlem Kaya were also mirroring the “New Cool” in their collections. For instance, designer Yakup Biçer, founder and creative director of Y Plus brand, is a big supporter of gender flexibility. Giving no clue on gender stereotypes, unexpected forms and avant-garde proportions underlines a de-gender identity. Gender-fluid persona —a new guest of the fashion world— creates a much wider range of collections without being ruled; and hopefully this anarch attitude takes us one step closer to a open minded fashion industry.
There are those who think of it as a millennial whim, but not so. Going back three years from now, Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) added a unisex/nonbinary category to New York Fashion Week. Recently, British Fashion Council announced that London Fashion Week will also become gender-neutral platform on June. If you look at the big picture here, this is not only the success of the authorities, but also the success of luxury brands. Analysing the media conversation around gender-neutral fashion from October 2018 to August 2019, Gucci, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Thom Browne, Christian Siriano, Michael Kors, Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, Adidas, Ralph Lauren and H&M are among the lynchpin brands in the gender-fluidity trend.
For now, it is not possible to say that Fashion Week Istanbul is completely gender-free. However, designers will not keep their designs and collections one-dimensional in the near future.
Author: Zeynep Gür